Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Set Apart by Obedience……

“With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.”   II Cor. 7:1 MSG Bible

The separated life is to LIVE DIFFERENT THAN THE WORLD.

We are not to be isolated but insulated, moving in the midst of evil but untouched by it.

Look at Paul’s exhortation, because we have these promises from God; promises of His abiding Holy Spirit, promises that we are salt and light and because of these promises we should desire to live in holiness as we fear the Lord.

In 1 Peter 1:15 we read: “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Be holy, because God is holy.  It is an act of service, obedience, and an act of worship. We become holy as we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit by living a life of purity and living a life different than the world.

Today many in the Church live the same as the society or environment around them – not separate, but blending in.  Maybe it is because of the times we live in, but I think it is really that the Church is in love with the world and wants to have the best of both worlds.  Paul exhorts the Corinthians by saying “purify yourself from all the things that contaminates the body and the spirit.”

What is your witness when you are at a social event?  Does your faith shine or do you blend in? How are Believers to live differently than the world?

We live by the Word of God and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Paul speaks in Galatians 5 about the acts of the sinful nature and the fruit of the Spirit, the contrast is huge.  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious- but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is just as obvious.

Reverence or fear of God leads us to action.  It begins with a true fear of God. It evolves into reverence for God.

The process of becoming holy begins with salvation and it is at that point that one has his/her sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5).

When one has their sins removed, that person becomes holy. However, the holiness or sanctification process does not end there, it is just the beginning.

 We are still in possession of passions that lead to sin and the ability to be tempted.

We have to work to remove those things in our lives that lead us toward sin.

This is the idea of perfecting or completing holiness.

The challenge is to remain holy (Romans 12:1). To do this there must be transformation (Romans 12:2).  Our job is to be holy people (1 Peter 2:5). 

In order to do that we have to separate ourselves from those who would bring us down.

We are set apart by obedience to the teachings of the Holy Spirit found in God’s Word.

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